Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver pays Portsmouth biggest compliment ahead of FA Cup date

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Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver paid Pompey the biggest compliment by saying: there was no-one bigger we could have drawn in the FA Cup.

The Blues will travel to the non-league outfit in the first round of the competition (November 8-11) following Monday night’s televised draw.

It’s the first time in seven years that Town, who sit eighth in the National League, have progressed beyond the fourth qualifying round.

Speaking to the Harrogate Advertiser, manager Weaver said he was ‘buzzing’ at the prospect of hosting Kenny Jackett’s league One side and welcoming a large contingent of travelling Blues supporters to the CNG Stadium.

He said: ‘I'm buzzing. It's such an exciting draw.

‘There was no-one bigger we could be drawn against in terms of stature than Portsmouth or Sunderland, so to have got one of those is brilliant.

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver     Picture Tony Johnson.

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver Picture Tony Johnson.

‘I clenched my fist and thumped the air when we were drawn at home, then to see Portsmouth pulled out next was brilliant.

‘It's a game of huge magnitude, a real challenge for us and just so exciting.

‘They're an ex-Premier League club who have won this competition not so long ago and we know they will travel in big numbers, so we're expecting a bumper crowd and a great occasion.

‘We've not had a big draw at home since I've been here and I'm delighted it's finally happened. It's massive for the club.

‘It puts you on a big stage where you can go and showcase what you've got both on and off the pitch. The lads will be champing at the bit.’

Last season 2008 FA Cup winners Pompey beat non-league Maidenhead 4-0 in the first round.

The Blues were accompanied by 710 fans that day, with 3,205 in total present at York Road.

Harrogate’s CNG Stadium has a current capacity of 3,000, with their biggest gate of the season being 1,863 for their 2-0 home defeat against Notts County in August.